Serving as President George W. Bush's pilot from 2001-2009, Col. Tillman was responsible for protecting the President on September 11, 2001. For 90 minutes, Col. Tillman detailed the morning of 9/11 from his point of view as Pilot-in-Command flying President Bush during the uncertainty of the day. Focusing on the theme “Zero fail,” he stressed how important it was that he surrounded himself with successful people throughout his career.
Col. Tillman was also the first pilot to fly the President into a war-zone. In planning for the covert trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, he had to keep the trip secret from his entire crew and even from top members of the White House. Further stressing the importance of successful execution and fail-proof planning, Col. Tillman was forced to strategically calculate where to park Air Force One to avoid enemy fire during their sit in Afghanistan.
Concluding his conversation, Col. Tillman jokingly admitted his Air Force One cockpit complete with two, 8-inch EFIS displays was not near as fancy as Garmin’s G1000 cockpit! However, he humbly reminded us that his 747 could easily do 8,000 feet per minute, if needed. With such a captivating recount as PIC on Air Force One during a significant time in our country’s history, it was certainly a great honor to welcome former Air Force One pilot, Col. Mark Tillman to Garmin this morning!